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Surrey volunteer tracks Christmas gift-filled shoeboxes like the one she received 10 years ago

‘I was one of those kids (in 2012), and the excitement of opening a box is surreal,’ Phoebe Dinamling says
Surrey resident Phoebe Dinamling with a gift-filled shoebox at the Operation Christmas Child processing plant in Calgary. (Submitted photo)

Ten years after receiving the gift of an Operation Christmas Child shoebox as a child, Surrey resident Phoebe Dinamling is returning the favour.

She travelled to the organization’s processing centre in Calgary to help inspect shoeboxes before they’re packed in cartons and shipped to children in countries around the world, including her native Philippines.

A Clayton-area resident, Dinamling has been packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items ever since arriving in Canada in 2015.

Dinamling says she does it “just to be able to give something to children to make them feel loved. I was one of those kids (in 2012) and the excitement of opening a box is surreal.”

The initiative is a way to “share God’s love with a hurting child overseas,” according to a post on “Every Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift is an opportunity to share the message of Jesus Christ with a boy or girl around the world.”

In Ukraine and other countries in places like Central America and Africa, the shoeboxes will be given to children who, in many cases, have never received such a gift.

In Calgary, “I wanted to experience the processing centre,” said Dinamling, 24. “I wanted to see the entire operation.”

She’s spending a couple days volunteering there, while on a break from health-sciences studies at KPU and a job as medical lab assistant.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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